NEPCA will meet on the campus of Providence College in Providence, RI October 24-25, 2014.
For conference information, click on the conference tab above.
NEPCA was pursuing a conference site for 2015 that has subsequently fallen through. If you think you’d like to have your college or university host a NEPCA conference in October of 2015 (note date), please contact Executive Secretary Rob Weir.
The Asian Journal of Popular Culture seeks papers for a special issue on “cuteness.” Cuteness has a global reach: it is an affective response; an aesthetic category; a performative act of self-expression; and an
immensely popular form of consumption. Possible topics for papers include the following (Note: a specific focus on the geographical region of East Asia is not required of submissions):
Cute Cultures of East Asia
Cute Commodities and Consumers of Cute: Structure vs. Agency
Cuteness and Gender
The Science of Cute
Practitioners of Cute
Cuteness and Race
Cuteness and Disability
The Cuteness of Animals/Zoomorphic Cute
The Dark Side of Cute (the grotesque, violence, pedophilia, etc.)
Digital Cute (social media, memes, etc.)
The deadline for submissions to this special issue of EAJPC is: 15 April,
Please submit papers to: CuteStudies@gmail.com
Call for Contributors for the Salem press book collection CRITICAL INSIGHTS: THE AMERICAN COMIC BOOK. Salem Press seeks for contributors for aforementioned collection of essays. Each of the essays should be between 4,000 and 5,000 words in length, and each should be written for the general reader, avoiding specialized academic language or scholarly jargon. For details contact Gary Hoppenstand at firstname.lastname@example.org, providing complete contact information (including email address, building address, and phone number). The publisher, Salem Press, desires to move quickly to publication with this collection.
Health and Society Undergraduate Research Conference
Abstracts due January 31, 2014
The Health Policy and Management Program at Providence College invites advanced undergraduates to submit paper proposals for our fifth annual undergraduate conference to be held Saturday, April 12, 2014.
The subject of this interdisciplinary conference is “Health and Society,” and papers from all areas of inquiry are welcome, especially Anthropology, Biomedical Ethics, Economics, Health Care Management, History, Literature, Political Science, Public Health, and Sociology. Abstracts will be peer reviewed on a competitive basis. The conference format is an oral presentation of 15 minutes in length with a faculty moderator and discussant.
Inquiries and 250-word abstracts should be submitted via email to email@example.com by January 31, 2014.
For additional information, consult the conference website: http://www.providence.edu/hpm/Pages/Conference.aspx
“Little Data and the Big Picture: What Everyday Literature Can Do for Comparison” a seminar to be held at the Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, New York University
20-23 March 2014.
Abstract deadline: 15 November 2013.
Submit a paper proposal at http://www.acla.org/submit (be sure to select ”Little Data…” in the Seminar drop-down menu). Learn more about the meeting and its “distinctive structure” at http://www.acla.org/acla2014
Any questions about the seminar, inquiries about topic suitability, or nominations of possible participants may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. By Ryan Holiday. New York: Portfolio Penguin, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-59184-628-4.
How bad are things in what has been dubbed the “lame-stream media?” If Ryan Holiday is to be believed, Fox News is indeed “fair and balanced” when compared to online sites such as Gawker, The Huffington Post, Mashable, and BNET. Or maybe not. One of Holiday’s major points is that what’s left of the mainstream media has been so drastically pared that it relies upon bloggers for news feeds, tips, and breaking information. That’s not a good thing. Holiday insists that trolls, shills, and liars like him populate the blogosphere.
The book title invites us to distrust Holiday and you should definitely raise your skepticism shields before plowing into his book. Still, given that Holiday pioneered and profited handsomely from some of the online media’s worst tactics, he’s at least a semi-credible source. The world he describes makes the days of yellow journalism seem charmingly innocent. Forget the adage that perception is reality; the blogosphere invents and commodifies each. A slow news day is no problem for bloggers skillful enough to tailor a rack of suits from a single loose thread. Ask Toyota, which paid millions of dollars for lawsuits, retrofitting, and manufacturing redesign when blogs began humming of stuck accelerators. In nearly all cases, nothing more sinister than operator error was in play, but soon every speeding yahoo on the freeway was blaming Toyota for his actions.
How did it get this bad? Didn’t open web gurus like Jeff Jarvis promise us that the information highway and citizen journalism would democratize information and politics? Holiday argues that “process journalism”–publish immediately and allow stories to evolve organically–gave way to “iterative journalism” in which a central message is put forth and endlessly repeated, facts be damned. The latter created a culture in which hits on one’s blog are more important than truth. Buzz sells and a well-crafted, oft-repeated story becomes fact-resistant. If you think buzz hasn’t replaced time as money and truth as perception, check out Holiday’s case studies–including his efforts to convince us that the generic offerings of American Apparel are high-fashion chic, or how he made millions for ‘fratire’ peddler Max Tucker by enhancing his misogynist image through a manufactured backlash.
In essence, journalism has been hijacked by advocacy advertising with all its inherent propaganda tendencies. When forced–and that’s the right word–to issue corrections and retractions, bloggers simply bury them at the bottom of websites where few will see them. Holiday categorically states, “Corrections online are a joke” (178). Really clever bloggers reduce legal liability through judicious use of weasel words: might, according to reports, escalating buzz, possibly, we’re hearing…. (170) But make no mistake; buzz and publicity are so potentially lucrative that no one can ignore the bloggers that peddle it. Holiday identifies the blogger’s nine tactics through which they win clients and influence the public, a list that includes: “tell them what they want to hear” (49), “give them what spreads, not what’s good,” (69) “make it all about the headline,” (87), and “just make stuff up” (113). Most horrifying of all is that these are often now the people who are the original ‘source’ of stories that appear on the nightly news or on the pages of the New York Times.
Holiday tells a distressing story that will be of enormous interest to journalism scholars and those studying digital media. Alas, I wish the study was better told. Toward the end of the book Holiday warns us of the dangers of “snark” (195), but that’s largely the tone of this book. Holiday clearly dislikes several other bloggers and, denials notwithstanding, it often sounds personal. What purports to be the confessional of an individual who has had a change of heart, comes off like one rapper dissing another. Moreover, Holiday’s conversion experience seems (note my weasel word!) to have occurred when he found himself and his clients on the attack end of the blog culture he helped create. His writing is both sophomoric and soporific. We should pay serious attention to the issues Ryan Holiday raises, but one longs for a more articulate reform advocate with a less ambiguous moral core.
Robert E. Weir
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The Sport Literature Association announces its annual Lyle Olsen Graduate Student Essay Contest 2014. Essays must pertain in some way to the literature of sport as noted in the association’s journal, Aethlon. All submissions
must be unpublished work. Original creative pieces, both fiction and non-fiction are not considered. There is no word limit, but Aethlon articles do not generally exceed 25 manuscript pages.
Thewinner will receive a small stipend, publication in the peer-reviewed journal, a year’s subscription to same, and some travel moniesto attend and present the paper at the annual conference in June 2014 at the College
of the Rockies in Cranbrook, British Columbia. Enter electronically, emailing your work to Carina Staudte at email@example.com,with a copy to Richard McGehee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries should be received no later than March 1, 2014. For questions and further information also visit the website at http://www.uta.edu/english/sla/conference.html or send an e-mail to email@example.com